Barcelona is working hard on revamping the squad ahead of the 2021-22 season and is reportedly hoping to announce the signing of “between three and four” new players in the “coming days.”
The Catalan giants want to ensure the deals are finalized before the start of the 2020 European Championship and the Copa America. Both tournaments are due to kick-off in June.
Barca look set to confirm the arrival of Manchester City duo Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero after Saturday’s Champions League final. The two players will arrive on free transfers from the Premier League side, according to Xavi Hernandez at Diari Ara.
The third player to arrive will be right-back Emerson Royal from Real Betis. The Brazilian is co-owned by both sides but is due to arrive at the Camp Nou after two seasons with Betis. Barca must pay €9 million to make the transfer permanent and will cash-in if the 22-year-old does not impress during pre-season.
Memphis Depay, another free agent, is the fourth player who could arrive. The Dutchman came close to a move to the Camp Nou in October 2020 and has remained in talks with the club but “needs to see who will coach” the team next season.
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Pep Guardiola Confirms Aguero Deal Is Close
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has all but confirmed Aguero is on his way to Barcelona. The Catalan spoken to BBC Sport on Sunday after the striker scored twice in his final Premier League appearance for the Citizens against Everton.
“Maybe I reveal a secret,” he said. “Maybe he is close to agreeing a deal for the club of my heart – for Barcelona. He is going to be playing alongside the best player of all time, Messi.”
Guardiola may have inadvertently revealed at the same time that Lionel Messi is staying at the Camp Nou. The captain’s future remains uncertain with his contract set to expire in June and an extension yet to be agreed.
The Barcelona coach has previously also admitted Garcia will head back to the Camp Nou at the end of the season. He said in April the center-back is “going to move to Barcelona” in an interview with Sky Sports.
Emerson & Memphis Depay Futures Uncertain
Barcelona’s other two targets have been less open about their futures, although Emerson’s recent social media activity has been under scrutiny over whether it’s actually a goodbye to Betis.
He wrote on Instagram, “What I can say on this very special day is that, after the struggle and determination of the whole group, Betis will be in the Europa League next season !!! Thank you for everything, my comrades! Thank you for the support of all of you, passionate fans of Real Betis.”
Meanwhile, Memphis Depay has been happy to talk about his next move but insists he has not made his mind up yet, as reported by Marca. The Netherlands international said, “They (Barcelona) have shown interest, but so have other clubs. Nothing has been decided yet.”
Much may depend on whether Koeman remains in charge. The two men know each other well from having worked together with the Netherlands national team, and Depay may look elsewhere if Barca part ways with Koeman.